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Cedar Rapids police charge man with 1979 killing of teen

December 20, 2018

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Rapids police say they have charged a man with murder, 39 years to the day after the killing of a high school student.

Police announced the arrest Wednesday night in the Dec. 19, 1979, stabbing death of 18-year-old Michelle Martinko.

Police arrested 64-year-old Jerry Lynn Burns on Wednesday morning in Manchester and charged him with first-degree murder. He’s being held in the Linn County jail in Cedar Rapids and will appear in district court Thursday morning.

Police say they matched a blood sample from the crime scene with a sample taken from the suspect.

Martinko’s body was found just after 4 a.m. Dec. 20 inside her family’s car parked at a shopping mall. She had stab wounds to the face and chest.

She had driven to the mall to shop for a coat after leaving a school banquet.

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